Kohl's Continues Support of Milwaukee Community with Nearly $1 Million in Donations to Four Milwaukee-Area Nonprofits Serving BIPOC Communities


Funding to support programming at Employ Milwaukee, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, National Alliance on Mental Illness of Southeast Wisconsin, and Greater Milwaukee Urban League

Kohl’s announced today nearly $1 million in donations to four hometown partners who serve underserved communities. These donations are a component of Kohl's ongoing philanthropic support in the Milwaukee area. With 16 local partners, Kohl’s and Kohl’s Cares have donated more than $4 million to Milwaukee-area nonprofits through the company’s hometown partnerships so far in 2023 alone.

The new $1 million in funding will support four nonprofit’s mission of providing accessible opportunities and better resources for Milwaukee-area youth and families, leading to a more equitable and thriving community for all. These grants further Kohl’s progress on the company’s commitment to donate $20 million to diverse communities by 2025, specifically, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI), Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, veterans and active military members, and women.

“Kohl’s is dedicated to helping build stronger, healthier, and happier communities in our hometown and nationwide. These grants are an illustration of that commitment,” said Tara Geiter, Kohl’s director of community relations. “We are proud to continue our partnerships with these incredible nonprofits, who are making a difference and creating more equitable outcomes for all families in Milwaukee.” 

Employ Milwaukee
Kohl’s has committed to donating $500,000 over the next two years in support of Employ Milwaukee’s mission to close the digital racial gap and help provide employment resources to Milwaukeeans. Through their Digital Literacy Lab, each student receives their own laptop and learns basic IT skills upon course completion. With this round of funding, Employ Milwaukee will also develop an advanced training curriculum, pilots for cyber security and AI skills training, and offer industry-recognized credentials and technical college level instruction. To date, Kohl’s has funded 11 Digital Literacy Lab cohorts, which have helped more than 100 job seekers achieve their employment goals. Kohl’s has provided more than $1 million in grants to Employ Milwaukee since 2020. To learn more, please visit employmilwaukee.org

“Kohl’s funding has helped the Milwaukee community by providing the resources necessary to ensure that job seekers have access to digital literacy skills and information on free and reduced internet,” said Chytania Brown, Employ Milwaukee, Inc. president and CEO. “Without these resources, job seekers would not be competitive in our increasingly tech-reliant economy. Funding has assisted over 100 job seekers to date and we are on track to serve over 300 more in the next two years.”

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee
Over the next year, Kohl’s will provide $275,000 in funding to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee (BGCGM) so Milwaukee youth can better access development programs that help foster leadership skills, promote personal growth, and provide post-secondary and career pathways. In addition to supporting the annual Youth of the Year initiative, BGCGM will aim to provide academic programming for its 12,500 members, encourage youth-led community service projects for more than 150 teens, and offer a specialized all-girls program for 50 youth focusing on empowering young women. Kohl’s has provided more than $1.5 million in grants to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee since 2017. To learn more, please visit bgcmilwaukee.org.  

“We deeply value and appreciate our partnership with Kohl’s,” said Kathy Thornton-Bias, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee president and CEO. “Their support of our leadership and character programming has a direct and lasting impact on our Club members. In particular, their engagement and commitment to the youth in our Graduation Plus program illustrates the difference their ongoing investment is making on Milwaukee’s future leaders.”

Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks.

NAMI Southeast Wisconsin
Through a $100,000 grant over the next year, NAMI Southeast Wisconsin will continue working to increase the mental health resources available to BIPOC communities in Milwaukee County and address the stigma around mental health. To do so, NAMI recruits and trains facilitators who represent the community, provides tailored culturally-relevant materials, and partners with local agencies, schools, and churches. Additionally, NAMI will help deploy educational presentations to middle and high school-aged youth so they can effectively provide action steps if they or someone they know are experiencing a mental health situation. Currently, there are more than 200 NAMI groups and classes serving more than 10,000 members of the Milwaukee community annually. Kohl’s has provided $200,000 to NAMI Southeast Wisconsin since 2022. To learn more, please visit namisoutheastwi.org.  

"Representation matters in mental health and efforts to address the systemic obstacles that prevent people from seeking treatment are essential in reducing stigma and providing equity in access to care," said Mary Madden, NAMI Southeast Wisconsin executive director. "With and through the incredible investment of Kohl's, we are intentional about our efforts to recruit BIPOC teachers and staff; to strengthen our organizational understanding of diverse communities; and to reach diverse audiences with culturally relevant resources and information. The support and commitment of the Kohl's team has advanced this initiative with great urgency as Milwaukee, and indeed the entire country, continues to grapple with a mental health crisis that has disproportionately affected individuals of color."

Greater Milwaukee Urban League
Kohl’s $100,000 grant to the Greater Milwaukee Urban League (GMUL) will help further the organization’s mission of positioning African Americans to create wealth and live a better quality of life in Milwaukee. GMUL offers programming such as the Graduate to Employment program, which provides students with career exploration alternatives to college, a S.T.E.A.M. (Science Technology, Engineering, Agriculture/Arts, and Math) Summit for middle school students, and Working Wednesdays to provide employers with the opportunity to interview and hire job seekers on the spot. Kohl’s has provided more than $400,000 in grants to the GMUL since 2020. To learn more, please visit tmul.org

"The Greater Milwaukee Urban League, together with Kohl’s, whom have been a phenomenal partner, have made a difference through their financial support, which allows the Greater Milwaukee Urban League’s program department to retool efforts for a more significant impact in our Graduate to Employment, S.T.E.A.M Summit and Working Wednesdays programs,” said Shirron Jude, Greater Milwaukee Urban League director of programs. “We will continue our mission to change the trajectory, create, and advocate for more opportunities for the youth and adults we serve in the city of Milwaukee.” 

Kohl’s Commitment to Milwaukee-Area Communities
So far in 2023, Kohl’s and Kohl’s Cares have donated more than $4 million to Milwaukee-area nonprofits through the company’s hometown partnerships. Currently, 16 local nonprofits are supported through the initiative, which aims to help provide access to art and culture, health and social services, and other opportunities including economic empowerment and neighborhood development. 

Additional local support includes the Hometown Giving program, which provides nonprofits with an opportunity to apply for a total of $500,000 in grants. Associates have also volunteered more than 8,000 hours in the Milwaukee area this year through the Kohl’s Volunteer Program, which gives nonprofits grants in recognition of associates’ volunteer time. 

Throughout company history, Kohl’s has given more than $152 million to Milwaukee-area nonprofits. By providing funding and volunteer support, Kohl’s continues to build on the company’s long-standing commitment to the greater Milwaukee community. 


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This article contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “may,” “intends,” “will,” “should,” “expects" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s then current views and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, which could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those projected. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks described more fully in Item 1A in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, which are expressly incorporated herein by reference, and other factors as may periodically be described in the Company’s filings with the SEC. Forward-looking statements relate to the date initially made, and Kohl’s undertakes no obligation to update them.